747 Fellini Satyricon

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

747 Fellini Satyricon

#1 Post by swo17 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:01 pm

Fellini Satyricon

Image

Federico Fellini's career achieved new levels of eccentricity and brilliance with this remarkable, controversial, extremely loose adaptation of Petronius's classical Roman satire, written during the reign of Nero. An episodic barrage of sexual licentiousness, godless violence, and eye-catching grotesquerie, Fellini Satyricon follows the exploits of two pansexual young men—the handsome scholar Encolpius and his vulgar, insatiably lusty friend Ascyltus—as they move through a landscape of free-form pagan excess. Creating apparent chaos with exquisite control, Fellini constructs a weird old world that feels like science fiction.

• New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• Audio commentary featuring an adaptation of Eileen Lanouette Hughes's memoir On the Set of "Fellini Satyricon": A Behind-the-Scenes Diary
Ciao, Federico!, Gideon Bachmann's hour-long documentary shot on the set of Fellini Satyricon
• Archival interviews with director Federico Fellini
• New interview with cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno
• New documentary about Fellini's adaptation of Petronius's work, featuring interviews with classicists Luca Canali, a consultant on the film, and Joanna Paul
• New interview with photographer Mary Ellen Mark about her experiences on the set and her iconic photographs of Fellini and his film
Felliniana, a presentation of Fellini Satyricon ephemera from the collection of Don Young
• Trailer
• New English subtitle translation
• PLUS: An essay by film critic Michael Wood

User avatar
manicsounds
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:58 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Re: 747 Fellini Satyricon

#2 Post by manicsounds » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:15 pm

I was hoping Masters Of Cinema would announce this soon, since they were on a roll with MGM licensed Fellini, but I will take the Criterion then!
Criterion is a surprise considering they only just released "La Dolce Vita", they usually wait a half year or so until releasing a director's other work (obviously some exceptions are made).

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: 747 Fellini Satyricon

#3 Post by knives » Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:14 am

Does anyone know of a good translation of the 'source' material? I love the film, but I get the sense that many of the elliptical jokes would be more successful with the text in mind.

User avatar
R0lf
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 7:25 am

Re: 747 Fellini Satyricon

#4 Post by R0lf » Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:52 am

I tried reading the source material while I was at uni (classic gay texts) and it is so fragmented I gave up.

User avatar
RossyG
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:50 pm

Re: 747 Fellini Satyricon

#5 Post by RossyG » Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:18 pm

knives wrote:Does anyone know of a good translation of the 'source' material? I love the film, but I get the sense that many of the elliptical jokes would be more successful with the text in mind.
The Penguin Classics translation is a fun - and very rude - read.

User avatar
Koukol
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:31 pm

Re: 747 Fellini Satyricon

#6 Post by Koukol » Sat Dec 13, 2014 3:40 pm

Woohoo!

My next most wanted Fellini.

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: 747 Fellini Satyricon

#7 Post by knives » Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:03 am

RossyG wrote:
knives wrote:Does anyone know of a good translation of the 'source' material? I love the film, but I get the sense that many of the elliptical jokes would be more successful with the text in mind.
The Penguin Classics translation is a fun - and very rude - read.
Thank you.

User avatar
AtlantaFella
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:19 pm

Re: 747 Fellini Satyricon

#8 Post by AtlantaFella » Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:06 am

Koukol wrote:Woohoo!

My next most wanted Fellini.
What is your top pick? I would love to see Orchestra Rehearsal in the Collection.

User avatar
Koukol
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:31 pm

Re: 747 Fellini Satyricon

#9 Post by Koukol » Sun Dec 14, 2014 5:41 pm

AtlantaFella wrote:
Koukol wrote:Woohoo!

My next most wanted Fellini.
What is your top pick? I would love to see Orchestra Rehearsal in the Collection.
I meant that after getting LA DOLCE VITA this is the one I want most on BD now.

But now that I actually thought about it....
My most wanted is JULIET OF THE SPIRITS now.

beamish13
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:31 am

Re: 747 Fellini Satyricon

#10 Post by beamish13 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:21 pm

AtlantaFella wrote:
Koukol wrote:Woohoo!

My next most wanted Fellini.
What is your top pick? I would love to see Orchestra Rehearsal in the Collection.

It's about goddamn time for that AND THE SHIP SAILED ON upgrade.

User avatar
AtlantaFella
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:19 pm

Re: 747 Fellini Satyricon

#11 Post by AtlantaFella » Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:49 pm

Agreed on Juliet. Somehow And the Ship Sails On has been sitting on my shelf, unwatched, for more years than I care to admit. Thanks for the reminder. Eep.

User avatar
Gregory
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: 747 Fellini Satyricon

#12 Post by Gregory » Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:05 pm

knives wrote:I love the film, but I get the sense that many of the elliptical jokes would be more successful with the text in mind.
I'd be surprised. I believe Fellini's interest was not in adapting the surviving scraps of the Satyricon in any normal sense but instead using them as a jumping off point for his own imagination about ancient Rome and life in general. It made me want to read the original in translation too (the Arrowsmith, for the record), but I think he made the film so that it could be appreciated regardless of any familiarity with Petronius or ancient Rome.

User avatar
Lowry_Sam
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:35 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: 747 Fellini Satyricon

#13 Post by Lowry_Sam » Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:44 am

For me it would be a box set of the loneliness trilogy: il Bidone, La Strada & La Notti di Cabiria, but I don't think all 3 have been properly restored yet. That said, I'm surprised Satyricon wasn't paired with Roma. could've been a nice mini-box & MOC already released it on blu.

Robin Davies
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 2:00 am

Re: 747 Fellini Satyricon

#14 Post by Robin Davies » Mon Dec 15, 2014 9:24 am

An English-friendly Voice of the Moon would be nice.

User avatar
Koukol
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:31 pm

Re: 747 Fellini Satyricon

#15 Post by Koukol » Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:58 pm

Robin Davies wrote:An English-friendly Voice of the Moon would be nice.
This hasn't been released on any format...no?

I was at a Quebec Film Festival (I can't remember what it's called) when this film made the Festival circuit.
One of the biggest regrets of my life is I didn't make the screening with the Q&A after. ](*,)

User avatar
ordinaryperson
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:18 pm
Location: Earth, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, Universe

Re: 747 Fellini Satyricon

#16 Post by ordinaryperson » Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:11 am


User avatar
Minkin
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: 747 Fellini Satyricon

#17 Post by Minkin » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:29 am

Top scores at Blu-Ray.com

User avatar
Gregory
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: 747 Fellini Satyricon

#18 Post by Gregory » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:29 pm

The whole exploration of what a Fellini-esque Fellini film it is reminded me of

Sophie: Yeah. I mean, it's gross when he turns into the bug, but I love how matter of fact everything is.
Walt Berkman: Yeah, it's very Kafkaesque.
Sophie: [She looks at him oddly. She laughs] ’Cause it's written by Franz Kafka.
Walt Berkman: Right. I mean, clearly.
Sophie: It would have to be.

My main problem with the review is that it didn't seem like he gave the film much thought or tried to find interesting things within its stories and visions. Obviously the structure was consciously fragmented. That doesn't mean it's like watching The Hunger Games and skipping past huge plot developments. Satyricon didn't have anything like that that kind of story structure.
Last edited by Gregory on Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
The Narrator Returns
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:35 pm

Re: 747 Fellini Satyricon

#19 Post by The Narrator Returns » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:30 pm

I'm getting increasingly lonely here as a Mike D'Angelo fan (hell, I may even call him one of my favorites on both the AV Club and The Dissolve), but yeah, that review was really not so good.

nolanoe
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:25 am

Re: 747 Fellini Satyricon

#20 Post by nolanoe » Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:33 pm

Wait for it:

Satyricon is Fellini's best film!

User avatar
movielocke
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:44 am

Re: 747 Fellini Satyricon

#21 Post by movielocke » Sat Mar 28, 2015 5:02 pm

Fellini Satyricon is a bad film. The film fevre-dreams from one scenario to another, akin to an anthology. Perhaps if I had read the collection of Italian folktales I own I would appreciate more the whimsical cacophony of fantasy in this film, because I’d have more context for it. But I was left mostly perplexed, and or irritated, often griping in my mind at how poor the filmmaking pouring out of a drug addled brain usually is. But that’s utterly unfair and I have no reason for leaping to such a conclusion other than the sensation that you’d have to be really high to finance or film this. I often felt like I was watching the weak and pablum interpretation of Jodorowski.

This is a film that makes me appreciate the rigour of Pasolini’s intellect and craft, particularly given the similar anthology stylings of his Trilogy of Life films. If anything, the contrast provided by Satyricon makes me appreciate Pasolini much more. Even when I dislike a Pasolini film, I am completely engaged by the intellect of the film, not so here.

The film is set in ancient days and all the young men are androgynous and bi or gay. The film sweetly follows a slaveowner as he tries to regain his slave lover, because his jealous boyfriend has spirited the slave boy away. At some point, the film completely discards this narrative and it wanders into the sea, then the desert, then to the labyrinth/minotaur of yore. Not that it matters, the film doesn’t make a lot of sense, the acting and dialog are flat and weak but the direction is strong with phenomenal sets and design.

I am looking forward to diving into the extras, the film is fascinating visually, and I feel like I’m completely missing all the context or explanations necessary to not completely hate the film. But as of this moment, it’s a total failure for me.


User avatar
Mr Sausage
Not PETA approved
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Canada

Fellini Satyricon (Federico Fellini, 1969)

#23 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:37 am

DISCUSSION ENDS MONDAY, AUGUST 3rd AT 6:30 AM.

Members have a two week period in which to discuss the film before it's moved to its dedicated thread in The Criterion Collection subforum. Please read the Rules and Procedures.

This thread is not spoiler free. This is a discussion thread; you should expect plot points of the individual films under discussion to be discussed openly. See: spoiler rules.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

I encourage members to submit questions, either those designed to elicit discussion and point out interesting things to keep an eye on, or just something you want answered. This will be extremely helpful in getting discussion started. Starting is always the hardest part, all the more so if it's unguided. Questions can be submitted to me via PM.




***PM me if you have any suggestions for additions or just general concerns and questions.***

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Fellini Satyricon (Federico Fellini, 1969)

#24 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:10 pm

I appreciated the bonus feature on Criterion's release with the two Petronius scholars discussing the film's "translation" of the fragmented text, a reading I can respect even though ultimately I could never connect with Fellini's final product here. The many detours into grotesque celebrations of ugliness and decadence grew tiresome, and without a stronger narrative to latch onto, it became a series of inconsequential episodes floating down the stream of consciousness. I'm sure that's the selling point for many fans of the film, but it didn't do much for me. It is not hard to see why this film's approach would find an audience with various then-contemporary counter cultures, however-- it probably plays better if you've turned on to something beforehand!

While this is the first time I've seen the film (and likely the last), I've been aware of its minor historical footnote where more relevant to my own interests. Though somewhat eyeopening (especially after having seen the film), it's hardly a state secret that Fellini was nominated for Best Director for this film at the 1970 Oscars. What's not often discussed, however, is that the film's biggest booster was AMPAS president Gregory Peck, who aggressively pushed for the film's representation in a conscious effort to make the awards relevant to the younger generation. Peck's short-lived tenure was often filled with spitting in the wind efforts like this, but it's fun to match Peck's usual stuffed-shirt screen presence with his bolstering of this and failed ventures like trying to get Dennis Hopper to actively participate in the Oscars after the Academy made him a member. The old guard was so distrustful of the unconventional great unwashed suddenly gaining access that there was talk of banning Jack Nicholson from even attending his first Oscars after he showed up to the Golden Globes in jeans and sneakers, which Peck also did his best to silence. Anyhoo, who doesn't want to imagine being in the audience at an Academy screening of this and turning to your right to see Peck's taciturn presence stoically sitting through this film's series of debaucheries?

User avatar
Sloper
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 10:06 pm

Re: Fellini Satyricon (Federico Fellini, 1969)

#25 Post by Sloper » Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:01 am

Thanks for adding to my already overflowing cup of affection/respect for Gregory Peck! That sounds entirely in character for him.

I kind of agree that this is a 'grotesque celebration of ugliness and decadence', though I ended up liking this film quite a lot. It's quite jarring, but weirdly appropriate, to be watching Satyricon right after Black Narcissus: we've gone from a film about the effects of repression to one that wallows in infinite liberty. This is also a world rife with abuse of all kinds and all degrees, but Fellini imbues even the most grotesque or cruel actions with a perverse, exhilarating beauty. The slave whose hand has been cut off, the horrifying shot of the furnace in which Eumolpo is to be tortured, or the image of Lichas' head sinking into the ocean, are good examples. Even ostensibly ugly, painful experiences serve to put us in touch with our own mortality, and it's as if the film is saying that these are the moments when we are most truly alive, and when we are really freed from the artificial constraints society imposes on us.

It's fitting that the film draws on a text (I haven't read it, but have read about it) that is not only about Saturnalian debauchery, but also fragmentary, giving Fellini a licence to tell the story in his characteristically freewheeling, elliptical fashion. He doesn't need to show us the links between these different episodes, or smooth over the transition from one setting to another, or explore the aftermath of certain incidents - like the earthquake. The narrative flits from one thing to another at will, just like the desires of the characters.

However, there are other elements in the film that seem to be in conflict, or at least in tension, with this spirit of liberty. Firstly, there's the constant sense that Fellini has put a lot of work into constructing and decorating the sets and the compositions. There are shots that last only a split second that look as though they must have taken several days to set up. Perhaps this suggests that the impulsive spontaneity of this world is only skin-deep, and that what looks like an expression of natural energies is in fact profoundly artificial. Having said that, it might be misguided to try and read a Dolce Vita-esque moralising tone into this film. Fellini seems to want us to get caught up in this world of constant sensory overload, not stand back from it and condemn its hypocrisy.

Secondly, there's another way of reading the fragmentary quality of the film's narrative, and this is suggested most overtly by the ending. I found this extremely poignant: it invites us to see the gaps in the story up until this point as indicative of loss, rather than of liberty; it turns out that the incompleteness of the plot does not reflect the story-teller's desire to leave out the boring bits, but rather his inability to produce a text that endures permanently after his death. For most of the film, the transience and fragility of material existence is savoured as though it were the only source of real joy, and the scenes that unfold before us have a kind of timeless quality - if I didn't know better, I would probably have thought that this film was an hour or two longer than it actually was - but at the very end we're reminded that all this stuff is not timeless, that it decays and crumbles and is eventually forgotten forever. It's probably significant that this happens just after the deaths of two of the main characters.

I'll try and watch this again in the next few days. It would be great to hear from others who are more familiar with Fellini's work - I haven't revisited him since I was a teenager, and until now never watched anything later than 8 1/2...
Last edited by Sloper on Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

Post Reply